(Adds details, context cleric quote)
By Thomas Escritt and Harro Ten Wolde
AMSTERDAM, July 20 Dutch Prime Minister Mark
Rutte said the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in
Europe was negotiating with separatists to bring a train
containing bodies from the Malaysia Airlines disaster under
Ukrainian government control.
Pressure is growing on the government to recover the bodies
of the 193 Dutch victims, who were killed when flight MH17 went
down in territory held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine
four days ago.
Many of the corpses of the 298 people on board the flight
from Amsterdam are still scattered across fields while others
have been loaded by the rebels onto refrigerated wagons at a
nearby railway station.
"All efforts are focused on getting this train onto
territory controlled by Ukrainian authorities," Rutte told a
news conference on Sunday. He said a team of victim
identification specialists was likely to enter the crash site on
In a leading article, the daily De Telegraaf said the
Netherlands should intervene militarily, if necessary, to secure
the crash site and prevent separatists from destroying evidence.
"It is time for action," the newspaper wrote, arguing that
NATO troops and special forces should be dispatched. Rutte ruled
out invoking the collective security provisions of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization.
At a memorial service in the Dutch city of Haarlem on
Sunday, a cleric counted the dozens of dead from his diocese,
and called for the bodies to be brought home as soon as
"We must be persistent in asking for the bodies of the
victims to be returned if only because of justice," Dean Jan
Hendriks told mourners at a mass.
Rutte said the Netherlands had been entrusted by world
leaders with the coordination of all victim identification
efforts for the flight and would begin setting up an operating
base in the regional capital Kharkhiv.
Alexander Hug, deputy head of the OSCE's mission in Ukraine
said the European security body was in touch with a Dutch
delegation that is now outside rebel-held territory but hoping
to arrive in the regional capital Donetsk on Monday.
"We are planning to facilitate their visit, first to Donetsk
and then to the crash site," he said.
(Additional reporting by Elizabeth Piper in Kiev; Editing by
Sonya Hepinstall and Erica Billingham)